Despite the nuances of each organization, one thing is sure: all companies face sales pipeline problems. From poor segmentation to bad communication, there are major challenges to overcome to succeed in today’s business world.
The good news is that most of these problems can be avoided if you have the right strategies and talent. In this article, we’ll analyze the challenges that affect sales pipelines and show you how to overcome them.
4 sales pipeline problems and their solution
1. New leads are not classified in the sales pipeline
Labeling any contact as a “lead” is one of the main mistakes sales teams make. Often the eagerness to fill the pipeline with opportunities, makes this team lose focus and pursue businesses that get them nowhere.
There are currently a lot of methodologies you can use to classify your leads in your sales pipeline. However, the most effective is to evaluate whether each prospect fits your company’s buyer persona.
If you have already defined the attributes of your ideal customer, it will be much easier to classify your leads. To gather this information, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What do all your customers have in common?
- Which people do you solve the most problems and provide the most value?
- What needs do these people have that your product can solve?
- What are the socio-demographic characteristics of your customers?
This strategy can be applied in the sales pipelines of all types of organizations, especially those that offer services (software, consulting, lawyers, accountants, etc.). Since it allows them to save time classifying leads and focus on the best sales opportunities.
2. The sales team does not have a commercial strategy
All companies need customers to grow and prosper. However, the path between leads and conversions can be tricky. If you make a forced presentation or present a proposal too early, the opportunity is likely to stall.
By creating a commercial strategy you can prevent this sales pipeline problem and offers value to your customers at every stage of the sales pipeline. As a result, you will improve the prospect experience and increase the probability of closing a deal.
This will also help you know the stage of each prospect. So it will be easier to determine what actions to do next in your sales pipeline. And it will allow you to execute the right strategies to close sales quickly.
Likewise, by applying a commercial strategy, you will learn important aspects of your business, which are vital to increasing profits. All this will help you make better decisions, and gives you the possibility to adjust your actions to obtain better results.
3. Lack of leadership in your sales team
Consumers in general always have difficulty making a buying decision. Therefore, if you let the customer lead the sale, the opportunity is likely to turn cold or stall. The only way this strategy can work is if the person has a need that is so obvious that they “beg” you to sell them. However, this scenario doesn’t happen very often.
Sometimes it’s not enough to have a good sales strategy and stick to it. To be successful you also need to take the initiative. As Anthony Iannarino explains: “Selling is like a dance. Either you lead it or the prospect leads it, but someone has to do it.”
However, that doesn’t mean you should skip the basic rules of courtesy. On the contrary, you should always consult with the customer when taking an action:
- Ask for permission to access your prospects’ information.
- If you need additional information, ask politely.
- When scheduling a demo, ask the prospect for the best time to do it.
By leading the sales process, you create value and prospects will see you as their consultant. This builds trust and increases the probability that opportunities will move forward. Remember that in every interaction you have with a client or prospect, you must guide them through the sales pipeline.
4. Your sales pipeline needs cleaning
Every company’s dream is to have a sales pipeline full of potential customers. Although the number may vary according to the sector, the ideal is to have between 3 and 5 times more opportunities than the objective set. Thus, if your goal is to make 10,000 sales, you should have between 30-50,000 prospects “cooking” in your pipeline.
For that reason, all opportunities must have a good chance of materializing. If your pipeline is full of cold leads, you are most likely wasting time and resources on people who will not make a purchase.
You can avoid this scenario by cleaning your sales pipeline every 15 days. By carrying out this process, you will be able to work with real numbers and apply strategies that accelerate your buying process.
Although it may be a difficult decision, by saying “No” and letting go of some opportunities, you will be able to welcome many more. It will also allow you to focus on taking actions that will have a positive impact on your business.
Nowadays, there are many tools that can help you optimize this process. However, a sales automation system is the best option to clean up your pipeline.
With this software, you will be able to track each prospect and identify bottlenecks. Likewise, It will allow you to monitor your sales teams and create reports to consult their performance.
If you are interested in implementing this system in your company, our team of experts can guide you through the entire process. You will also receive advice so that you can make the most of this tool and achieve your goals.
What are you waiting for? Take your sales to the next level, contact us!